A new chapter

Thursday marked the day where two of my kids are in school all day.  It is just me and Little at home now.

Its odd to be in a moment that you know you will remember for the rest of your life and have an authentic feeling about it.

You have the voices of parents who have gone before you and what they experienced, and you have thoughts of feelings that you think you should be experiencing.  So many thoughts.  So many feelings.

I have a 7yr old. 

I have two children in school now.

I have been surrounded by children and chaos for 7 years.  Before that I was working full time.  Before that, I was in college.

I have so many plans and ideas for my time, and yet I feel paralyzed and don't know where to start.  This is what I have been asking for for years, more time.

I cried all day.  I would be standing in my basement, cleaning and organizing, (I started with the big project first) and I just felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness, and fear, and loneliness, and like part of my body was missing, and excitement, and timidity, and anxiousness, and joy, and peace, and fear, and....


That was my word all day.


I had a dear friend call me, and I was verbally onslaughtering her and I finally said, "I just feel weird.  I don't know how to be alone."  And then I started crying again. (No I haven't forgotten that I have a small child at home, its just that, she is so easy, and going from three kids to one it does feel like you are alone.)

She came right over.  Pulled me from my basement, made iced coffee and we sat on the couch.

Then I started all over in what I was feeling, what I was afraid of, what I was excited for, and my total not knowing where to start in how to live this new life I have.

We went through all the things I was feeling, and she talked me off the edge of each negative one, and pushed me to embrace the good ones.

I know how to be Dani who has three crazy kids that I manage each day and prepping the house and the food, and planning activities.

I know how to be Dani Tietjen the public speaker.

I don't know how to be Dani who has time to pursue an organized healthy life.  A creative life.  Time to daily devote, time to read, time to volunteer, time to paint, time to write, time to sew, time to research, time to work, time to plan great activities for the kids, time to budget our money.

I am excited for my kids.  I am so grateful for their opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese fluently.  I am excited for time with my daughter.

One lesson that my dear friend helped me learn, is that just because my kids are in school, doesn't mean we have to jump on the American band wagon of activities.  I dread that hamster wheel, and I don't want it for my family.  It is really, really difficult to not join activities.  That may sound silly, but here in the cities and at a very cultural forward school, there are so many great activities to get your kids into.  Music, art, sailing, sports, chess, so many!

But that just means more stress on the pocket book, on the schedule, and for our family.  So we only do school, and come home and play and do chores.

I learned other fun things about myself and this new adventure with my friend that day.  But those are other blog posts.  Posts I am hoping to have time to write now!

Even though I still feel weird not having my little people around me, Little and I are going to embrace our first week together at home with fun things planned.

What I realized when writing this is, is that one would think my children were my whole life.  But I have a wonderful speaking career, I have healthy friendships and a very healthy marriage that I invest time in away from my kids.  I have hobbies and workouts that I love to do. 

But when you are used to the constant chatter of your kids, their help when cooking, and they are around to have adventures with on the spur of the moment, you really miss it when its gone.  Yes they fight, and they are loud, and they seem to spill everything and make a career out of making messes, so not having to deal with that each day all day is helpful, but mostly I just miss them.

So, cheers with me to this new stage of life and my children becoming smarter and more worldly than me each and every day.

Boys in thier uniform for the first day of kindergarten and 1st grade.

My little helper dressed herself today.